Monday, December 2, 2013

The truth is....

The truth is, we see WAY too much of each other.  We see pictures of your breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  You see my kids latest accomplishment, even when it is as menial as rolling over.  You see what I pinned to make for dinner.  You posted the lasted pinterest win or failure.  The truth is, 20 years ago, we had no stinking idea what took place behind someone else's closed doors, and for the most part we didn't care.  The truth is, what we see of each other on these's not the truth.  It's like reality tv.  You see little snippets of the daily ins and outs, but if you knew the full story, it would look so different.

I recently had a friend tell me that I looked like I had it all together.  The story facebook and instagram painted showed me as the mom who does it all, with a smile on my face, and a happy husband and kids to boot.  The truth is,'s kinda true.  We are happy, I smile, they smile.  Here is what I don't post pictures/videos/statuses of:

-the black crap growing in my toilet because it hasn't been cleaned in WAY too long
-the piles of laundry that are never actually put where they belong
-the picture of my baby with dog hair hanging out of her mouth, because I haven't vacuumed, and that dang dog keeps being a dang dog, and sheds  ALL.THE.TIME.
-my toddler in her pajamas EVERY.DAY.
-me loosing my cool and flipping out.  telling my 4yo I'm tired of picking up her crap. yup I said crap.  making my 2yo cry.  flipping out so ugly, that I woke them both up from nap to apologize.
-the horrible way I have disrespected my husband, you know, with that tone of voice that makes people feel about 2 inches tall
-the hair that is covering my bathroom...nope, not the dang dog this time, just me, shedding all over the bathroom
-speaking of my hair, how about how greasy it gets because I don't wash it, yup, I don't post that crap.

.....I could go on and on, but I already feel bad enough about the above mentioned offenses, and writing it out just solidifies the yuck I feel.  Rarely do we post about our ugly.  Nobody has it all together, nobody can do it all.  It might look like someone is, but I promise you, you aren't seeing it all. I'm not going to start posting pics of my nasty toilet, and turn Facebook into some sort of confessional.   I'm not writing this because I am vowing to stop posting the adorable beaming smile I can get from my 8 month old, or the fantastic melodies my 4 year old graces me with daily, or the mischievous grin my Eisley Kate delivers. Nope, I'm going to keep posting.  But don't be fooled.  I don't have it all together.  Despite the adorable appearance, things get ugly around here sometimes.  And that's the truth.

Use social media for good not evil.  I'm not sure what that looks like for you, but for me that means stopping the comparison game.  Just enjoying the adorable pics, the informational links, the sarcastic cartoons, and the entertaining videos.  That's my random thoughts for today.  Now, I'm going to go clean my bathrooms.....probably not, but just know, I had good intentions:)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Avery's Birthday

Each of these picture collages had a caption and explanation, but I have waited so long to blog about her birthday...I don't remember what they are!  I also wanted to interview her at 4 years of age, and post the responses here.  It just didn't happen...then I had a baby....and it really didn't happen!

Avery turned 4 on March 11, 2013.  So far this year has been a blast! She is such a joy to our family:)  Here is the interview...just short of six months late....

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

And Living is Easy:)

Ok so life right now is far from easy, but so so so very good.  I have started many blogs this season of life and finished very few.  Here is a glimpse of one I started 2 months ago:

"Life right now is tired.  I am SOO tired.  Those days with one kid, yup I thought I was tired then....I want to punch that one kid girl in the face.   I want to punch the two kid girl in the face too, but not nearly as much as I want to punch the one kid girl.  The physical drainage parenting 3 children takes on my body is intense.  I am fully aware how blessed I am to be completely exhausted, but for some reason, right now, it is of little comfort:)  I have entered the pessimistic mode of sleep deprivation, where a full night of sleep and a daily shower seems light years away.  In fact it seems as if it will never come.... I may spend a lifetime covered in puke, and agreeing to ice cream cones and candy consumption that I never even heard the question of permission being asked."

In 2 months lots has changed.  The main change being SLEEP!  If I can get sleep, I can handle life so much better.  Life doesn't feel nearly as dramatic as it did 2 months ago.  Charly is an amazing little sleeper and because of that I am able to catch you up on our life as it looks right now:)

Charly girl-
This girl is nothing short of amazing.  I call her my best friend, and tell people she is like Mary Poppins:  Practically Perfect in Every Way:)  No, for real, she rocks.  Shortly after turning 2 months she started sleeping through the night.  Then she went through about a month long phase of sleeping 12-14 hour stretches.  Currently she is sleeping around 8-9 hours.  I would like to tell you that I formulated this great plan, and I can share the secret with you....that's not the case.  This girl is anything but scheduled or sleep trained, it just happened, like a freak of nature
and I'm just grateful and enjoying it.

She literally is the smiliest baby I have ever laid eyes on.  She lights up the room, and all of our lives.  Despite constantly being shoved in the exersauser, under the play mat, or in the baby carrier, she just loves life.  She is flexible, and smiles as the chaos that is this household whirls around her.

Charly was not in our plans, not even on our radar.  It was a complete surprise to find out we were pregnant with her.  It took us  a long time to get pregnant with Eisley and I just assumed that would be the case with our third.  Charly was a surprise then, and continues to be one of the best surprises of this lifetime.  If you've heard her birth story, you know there were some surprises that aren't sharable on a blog:) I didn't expect a happy easy baby...surprise!  If she keeps this up, Lord willingly...we will have a house full of kids!

Eisley Kator Tator Bug-
Phew!  I feel like that word sums up life with her right now!  She loves to push the envelope a bit.  Whatever Avery is doing, she wants to do, and more.  She usually has at least one baby doll tucked under her arm, and is the sweetest little mama to them.  She would mother Charly a lot more, if I weren't so fearful Charly was going to lose an eye, or be severely injured.  "I hold her" is a common phrase, and hold Charly she a choke hold.  We also hear, "Dope" a lot.  It's a combination of don't and stop.  She doesn't like to be told what to do, and I have to find creative ways of making her think changing activities is her idea.  She loves to be snuggled, but not if you ask for it.

Eisley loves to dance and sing.  She has always loved a good dance party and has some sweet moves.  Her number one move is still jumping off the ottoman...jumping off anything she can really.  She also loves to sing, and be sang to.  She has the sweetest little voice that I will have to post video of.

This girl keeps us on our toes, but also keeps us laughing.  She's hilarious...and she knows it.  I pulled over the other day because she keeps taking her arms out of the straps of her car seat.  As I was lecturing her about where to keep her arms, she just stared at me with a huge cheesy grin.  I finished the lecture, and her reply was simply, "Ugga Mugga".  If you watch Daniel Tiger...and you should...this is the way his family says, I love you..Ugga Mugga Eisley Kate...Ugga Mugga

Avery Lynn-
Oh this girl.  I swear I just brought her home, and in a couple weeks she starts pre-school!!  Crazy:)  She is so fun.  She has the best imagination, loves to sing and dance, and stuffed animals are her love language.  Currently she is obsessed with cats.  I have told her many times, we are not a cat family.  We will never ever have a cat in this house.  This translates into her desperately wanting a cat.  She totes her stuffed animal cats everywhere, and has them stashed throughout the house.  She promises me we can find a cat that doesn't shed, won't pee in the house, is nice to everyone, and that won't bother our family members who are allergic.  She is so persistent, sometimes I almost believe her that a cat like that exists.

She is super smart, very perceptive, and incredibly talkative.  I love it.  We have some of the best conversations, and her kind compassionate heart blows me away.  However, it also causes my brain to be really mushy by the end of the day because it is processing so many of her words.  She doesn't stop talking!!!  School is going to be so very awesome for us both:)

Speaking of school, she is excited, but kind of nervous.  Me too.  I am so ready for this new chapter for her.  It just scares me a bit that we are already here.  This is the beginning of not having complete control over what she is exposed to in this world.  It's awesome and terrifying.  I think she senses this too, in her 4 year old point of view.  Thankfully, I have complete trust in the very loving heart that is her pre-school teacher:)

My hunk of a husband-
Seriously.  Have you seen him???  He's so good looking, inside and out.  Our girls are fabulous and gorgeous because he is their dad.  He puts up with my crazy, and reminds me to enjoy the ride.  He is completely committed to showing these girls what our heavenly Father's love is all about, and is an amazing reflection of it.  He is passionate about what he does at work, and then comes home, and gives us his very best.  We are so very fortunate to live close to his work, and get to spend breakfast, lunch, and dinner with him.  I know.  I'm pretty spoiled.

Honestly it depends on the day!  I feel like these are such formative years for my kids, but I'm the one being continually reshaped.  And while that reshaping sometimes seems like breaking, I'm pretty grateful.  I'm a structured, list making kinda gal, who likes things to be black and white.  My God keeps showing me, this life is not something to be checked off a list, and the colors are beautiful, if I would allow my eyes to see them.  These are the days of quick/few showers, eating breakfast while nursing, and spooning every other bite into someone else's mouth, with the theme song of Sophia the first stuck in my head 24/7.  These are days I have been given.  I feel like God (lots of times through Jonathan) keeps reminding me to embrace it, expect it, and then delight in it (especially when the shower part happens) rather than being frustrated when it doesn't go smoothly.  I'm learning, sometimes in knock down drag out style, but I'm learning.  So I may not blog again for awhile, but I promise it's because I'm embracing the beauty of this wonderfully crazy life!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Something cool happened today...

I love the gal who cuts my hair.  She is fun, she is a mom, she is real, she makes me laugh, I always feel so pretty when I step out of her chair, and I feel like I just spent the last hour just hanging out with a friend.  I know she is just doing her "job", and I am fairly certain that she makes all of her clients feel this way, but I like to think that even if Beth didn't cut my hair we would still think each other to be pretty cool.

Last week I had an appointment with her, and I left Sparkle Salon feeling like a million bucks.  You seriously can't bring me down on a haircut day, but being very pregnant, I just haven't felt super pretty lately.  When I walked out of the salon, I felt pretty.  I felt confident.  I couldn't wait to see my husband, because I was just feeling so good about myself I wanted to make out with him (TMI, I know, but I am trying to explain how good this haircut/style felt).

So today, a week later, I was headed to the grocery store right by the salon, and just wanted to stop and say a genuine thank you, face to face, to my favorite stylist.  I had Mom's Morning Out this morning, and it was my free time w/o kids.  The perfect time to make a quick stop and then get groceries fast before picking the girls up.  I decided to stop at the salon first because I knew I'd be rushed if I did it the other way around, and I didn't want to rush my thank you!  I also wanted some of this dry-shampoo Beth had told me about the week before, and that took priority over milk!

I knew that Beth would probably have a client, and I didn't want to interrupt their special haircut time, but I intended to be quick.  The second I walked in the door I saw Beth, and I knew exactly whose hair she was working on.  I did my best to pretend like I had no idea who that person was.  I thanked Beth for my fantastic hair, apologized to her client for interrupting her time, bought my product, and walked as fast as I could out the door.

As I made my way out of the building, I have never felt God stop me so fast in my tracks.  I literally felt like I had on a hooded sweatshirt, that He had grabbed the hood, and flung me back around.  The woman in that chair was Heather Collins.  From the moment her little Elizabeth was announced missing it was nearly impossible not to follow her story, pray for her safe return, and thank God that it wasn't my child.  So when I saw her face, it was hard not to immediately feel guilty that I was, in just 1 short hour, going to pick up both of my safe healthy kids, take them home, and live our life just as we had before her little girl was taken.

However, that is never the message Heather has given.  This woman has continually amazed me with her faith, and strength.  From the very beginning she has expressed her love for Christ, her total trust in Him, and how His deep love for all of us was stronger than any worldly circumstance.

I recently heard that everything we say/do either brings people closer to or further from Christ.  Heather lives this truth, and literally every word that she shared throughout this ordeal seemed to be breathed into her by Christ.  I would watch news reports, and as my heart would ache for this mother, I would sit in awe as she continually shared her faith.  She was/is an inspiration.  I had never seen such courage.

So here I am, standing alone in this hallway feeling very conflicted.  Do I go back and tell her that I think she is one of the bravest women on the planet?  Do I let her just continue to get her haircut in peace?  I know lots of ladies, who like me, just love their haircut days, should I interrupt that...again??  I knew God wouldn't have stopped me if He had wanted me to keep walking, so if He wanted me to go back in there, He was going to need to give me the words.  And He did.

I told her she was brave and courageous.  I told her that her love for Jesus was inspiring.  She graciously thanked me, and true to the person I had witnessed on the news, she gave all the glory to God.   And then we talked with all of the other ladies in the salon about our kids, about our husbands, about baby names, about life.  We laughed.  It was a conversation you'd expect to see happening in a salon.

Needless to say, I didn't get my milk.  What I got was an affirmation.  Literally everything I say and do matters.  My identity lies in Christ so I must do my best to emulate Him, no matter what the circumstances, or what I may be feeling.  Today I met someone who is doing this really well, and has inspired me to do better.  I hope I never have to live my faith out the way she has, I hope no one does, but the only way I know I could, is to live like she does...for everything I say, and in everything I Christ.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My Sweet Eisley Kate

You have been consuming my thoughts lately.  I have been finding myself really studying you.  Watching your fast feet run across the floor.  Staring into your eyes that have so many colors, just like your dad.  Observing you, observing all of us.  You are still such a baby, and yet we will soon be bringing another babe home.  

There were times when you were teeny tiny (well, you were never that teeny, but definitely tiny) that I just wished you to be bigger...and now that you are, my heart aches a bit.  It seems you also took this wish to heart, as you have done everything early, and have a mindset that you can do anything your 3 almost 4 year old sister can do, and maybe even better than her if you really try.  I describe you as determined, and think it really should have been your second middle name, because you are just that....SOO DETERMINED!

One of my favorite things to watch you do right now:  You stand on the very edge of our ottoman.  You shuffle your little feet closer and closer to the edge, until you just might teeter off.  Then with a look of pure will, that quickly changes to pure joy, you fling yourself onto the couch.  It doesn't matter how close or how far we place the ottoman from the couch, you make the leap.  I can already tell that your heart yearns for adventure and challenge.....that excites and scares me all at the same time.

I worried that with such a talkative sister, you'd never get a word in edgewise, but you have laid my worries to rest.  You say and understand SOOO much!  I love your definitive head shakes.  Did you have a good rest?  Do you want to eat breakfast?  Should we go find Daddy/Avery/Bumper?  Do you want to go outside?  Do you want to go to Grandma's?  These questions are always answered with the most assertive nod YES!  Do you have stinky pants?  Do you want to get in the bath? Do you want to get dressed?  A few weeks ago these questions were answered with an assertive shake of NO, but recently you have found this word, and exercise it regularly.  A simple "no" will not do, you have turned it into a 2 syllable word, with a slight Canadian accent, your little mouth forms a pefect "o" shape, and your tone changes at the second syllable No-OO!  Other words you have: mommy, daddy, Wee-wee (Avery), Grandma, Grandpa, Abbie, Cah-ckle(Uncle), Dah-chel(Rachael), sten (kristen), Naomi (her first and only 3 syllable word), Kirk, La-la (Alli), Norah and James also come out La-la for some reason, shoes, juice, cookies, bapple (apple), thank you, bubbles, Bumper, Hattie, car, baby, blanky, binky, puppy, cold, hot, cracker, ME!, truck, book, stuck.  For some reason words that end in a -k sound you really annunciate and do well with, but it makes them come out more when you talk about books, being stuck, and uncle Kirk, you sound like you really mean it:)

You are so fast, and will run to most places you are headed.  You climb up onto everything, places Avery never dreamed to go, and have shown me that child proofing isn't enough, it needs to be Eisley-proofed.  You like to be in on the action. If I expect to get anything accomplished with you around, you need to be "helping".  Often I cook with  you on the counter, fold clothes with you in the basket, and vacuum with you in the backpack.  You like to be held by your mama, but at the same time, you do really well playing on your own.  You play downstairs by yourself way more than Avery would ever tolerate.  When you dance, you like to do your own moves and do them on your own.  Every once in awhile you want us to bounce around with you, but usually when there is music going, you can be found doing a move I have coined "the angry chicken".  You fling one or both arms stiffly behind you, and prance about.  You like to climb up on the ottoman, dance, clap your hands, and watch the ridiculous moves that your dad and sister come up with.

Your hair is just getting thick enough that I can put bows and things in without them sliding right back out, but you would prefer to go au natural.  I affectionately call you my rag-a-muffin, because your hair is usually in your face.  A couple months ago our good friend Jacob trimmed up some little bangs for you, at first they were really cute, but now your hair has grown out to be a wispy type mullet:)  I love your spunky look when I put your hair in little pigtails, but you don't let them last long.  I can't argue, coupled with your big toothy grin,  you make the mullet look good.

So while you love to try to keep up with your sister, and reach milestones way before any of us (including your little body) are ready......please don't forget your are my baby girl.  You are the baby that I prayed and prayed for, and showed up with perfect timing.  You are the baby girl, who will still be a baby girl when we bring home yet another baby girl.  Please know there might not always be room on mommy's lap right when you want it, but there is more than enough room in this mama's heart for you.  I think our hearts are shaped pretty differently, and you will continue to stretch mine in ways I will have never imagined, and for that I am so very very grateful.  I love you, my sweet determined little Eisley, so very much.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

5 years

Jonathan and I celebrated 5 years of wedded bliss on December 31, 2012. To say it was a wonderful day, is an understatement. We spent the day soaking up the sun in the pool and on the dock, of our vacation house. My parents took the girls for the evening, and Jonathan and I got to enjoy Marco, much as we did 5 years before. We had supper at the Snook Inn, which overlooks the ocean. My favorite thing there are the enormous dill pickles, YUM! We took a long walk, to help settle all the yummy food we had consumed. Finally we ended our night at the Olde Marco Inn and Suites. It is one of the cutest, quaint hotels I have ever been to, and was just the way we remembered it from 5 years earlier. What a special way to celebrate 5 years of choosing to love each other! We came home to a very sweet, yet completely realistic anniversary card from my grandma. I didn't want to throw it away, so to remember it forever, I'm including it on this blog!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Eisley turned 1 on 9/10/12

 I have procrastinated blogging about Eisley turning 1 for lots of reasons.  Mainly because I just felt so crumby during that 1st trimester, I felt like she got jipped.  Looking back on all of these pictures, I can see the truth.  She was not jipped, she is so loved, and we celebrated her in just the way she would have requested had she possessed the words;)

Her birthday party was themed around The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  My sister Rachael was behind so much of the party, and I don't think it would have been half as special without her assistance.  She designed the caterpillar above (and everything else at the party) showcasing Eisley in the first 12 months of her life!

The birthday girl, ready to party:)

I stressed and stressed over how to make Eisley's cake.  Pinterest has so many great ideas, but I lack the creative skills, and at the time, the energy to follow through!  So Bite Sized Bakery saved the day and created the cutest cake ball caterpillar!  

For Eisley's cake, we fashioned a dirt cake that was just her size. Dirt cake could not have been more appropriate for our little lady.  She ate dirt all summer, and everything else she wasn't supposed to!  (Thank you to my wonderful mother-in-law for the #1 candle. I tease her for not throwing anything away.  However, lots of times she saves the day in clutch when you forget to buy the candle....of course she had one handy!!)

 Eisley was not so sure about the candle or the cake, but with a little encouragement from all of us, she managed to make a huge mess, and enjoy it!

**Please take note of my lovely sea-bands, I'm not sure they work, but I didn't puke during the party, and for that I'm grateful:)

Avery loves Eisley, and being a big sister.  We could not have dreamed up a better big sister for our sweet little Eisley.  She is so caring, and amazes me with her kindness and generosity daily. For the most part Eisley reciprocates this love, until she is being completely smothered from her 1000th hug, and then she boldly protests.  I hope this never changes!!!

.....and then Daddy got the dirty job of cleaning it all up, it was EVERYWHERE!!!!!!

Her party ended, just as she prefers.....with very little clothing, lots of toys, and people all around who love her bigger than the sky!

I have so many pictures of my kids, but I love the ones that are just simply them.  Eisley has 3 blankets that she loves, one is a little more special than the others, but those plus her binky are a constant for her.

  I love this pic, of my babe with her binky and blanky.

 Eisley Kate, we love you more than words can say.  We prayed and prayed for you to come, but none of us had any idea the way you would come into our lives, and leave us never the same.  Thank you for pushing me outside of my box, further than I knew I could be pushed.  Thank you for lighting up my day with your adorable toothy grins and mischievous giggles.  Thank you for your determination that we witness on every table top, counter, toilet, bunk bed, and boundary.  Thank you for showing us a side of your sister that we never would have experienced without your presence.  Thank you most of all for showing me more and more of who Christ wants to be in our lives.  My prayer for you is that you would feel His presence and love as you become exactly who He created you to be.